Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I had to take my lil Beebie girl to Big Kid Orientation today. She wore one of her new, cute, trendy outfits that my mom got her for her birthday last week and she just looked like a teenager. I'll confess, I got a little choked up. I'm such a dork. I did manage to embarrass her, though, so the day wasn't a total loss.

We got her schedule, found where all of her classes are, set up her locker, tried to open it, and all the while I was fighting the onset of Instant Diarrhea. Why?

Because about two minutes after we arrived, I saw a dude from my sordid, slutty past while we were waiting in the line to turn in Beeb's medical forms.

There's always going to be someone I want to avoid, I guess. And I knew there was a possibility that I'd run into this person because his son went to the same school Beeb did (before we moved), and this middle school is where kids from that elementary school and Beeb's elementary school go, but I'd managed to either forget or convince myself that the school was big enough that the likelihood that he and I would run into each other was extremely remote. His kid has a locker disturbingly close to Beeb's. He's in the red shirt.

I had to walk past him about fifty times this morning as we were finding Beeb's classes. UGH.

Sigh. I had been meaning to tell this story on here but I never felt it was the right moment. I guess it's good that it came up naturally; now I HAVE to tell it. It's kinda tricky, though, because it's best told out of chronological order.

One night, about 5 years ago, R and I proudly took our adorable First-Grade daughter to Meet the Teacher night. And while we sat at Beeb's desk, I looked over and saw this dude that I had met in about 1993. Apparently he'd married a woman who had kids already because the kid he was sitting with had a different last name from his. Believe me, if I'd seen his last name on the class list, I'd have done a little research and politely asked the school to put Beeb in a different class. It's THAT bad.

I silently prayed that he didn't see me and actually thanked God that I'd gained enough weight since he'd last seen me that perhaps I didn't look the same and he wouldn't say anything to me. I would have just died if he came up and said something to me, mostly because I didn't want to have to explain my relationship with this guy to R. I can't believe I'm going to explain it to YOU, but stay with me, I will. For now, suffice it to say, it just didn't end well... because it got seriously weird.

I spent the whole evening avoiding eye contact with him and the entire next year avoiding as many school-related functions as I possibly could. And overall, I was rather successful. The following year we moved to a different school. I was SO relieved. TOTALLY dodged a bullet. Until.

Because I'm an awesome mom (and because I knew I'd feel guilty forever otherwise), I wanted Beebie to be able to participate in the activities she liked despite the fact that I had a toddler and a baby that I'd have to lug with me everywhere. I didn't think it was fair to her if she had to miss out on stuff just because I was too lazy to inconvenience myself for her benefit. As long as I had my trusty Double Stroller, I'd be fine, I figured. It wasn't her fault that her dad and I whipped out two babies in less than eleven months. Why punish her?

So I signed Beebie up for T-ball. I'm a big believer in team sports. They build character. It was a district team, which included kids from several different elementary schools. So there my dude was with his stepkid and his wife, who appeared to be pregnant. First of all, the years had not been kind to this guy. His hair and his beard were salt and pepper grey and patchy. I had forgotten how much older than me he was; at least a good 8 or 9 years. And then I got a better look at his wife.

First of all, she had reeeeeally bad skin, reeeeeeeally bad, long, stringy, dirty blonde hair, and she was the kind of skinny that's almost scary. So, so painfully unattractive. Both of them. It's kind of sweet that they agreed to take each other out of the dating pool so the rest of us could have better odds.

So for the next eight weeks, I had to see them twice a week at T-ball. And R was working two jobs, so I didn't have him to distract me. Sometimes Dude From The Past was there with his icky wife and sometimes she was alone, but I just did my best to stay away from them. All the while, I was pretty sure he didn't remember or recognize me. Fortunately I had the excuse of having to keep my boys entertained in their Double Stroller so I really never had time to sit down and chat. Sad thing was, I had to push the damn stroller so the boys wouldn't get fussy while they were waiting to see their sister bat. I hardly got to see Beeb play the whole season because I was so busy keeping the boys from screaming.

I did, however, get to watch his stepson play. It was all I could do not to laugh out loud. The kid would literally do a full 360 degree pirouette whenever he'd swing the bat. Sometimes he'd even spin all the way around twice. And instead of swinging a bat, he looked like he was swinging an axe, up and down. It was pitiful. Just pitiful. I know I'm mean, but seriously, it was sad. I applaud that he didn't give up, I'm sure they encouraged him, but you gotta know there comes a point where, just out of compassion, you need to tell your kid, Dude, This Just Might Not Be Your Thing. And that point had come and gone.

Anyway, one night R was able to come to a game with me, and while he and I were hanging out and keeping the boys occupied, R suddenly said to me, "That guy across the playground is totally staring at you..."

It seemed that he'd put two and two together and figured out why I looked familiar. Fuck. Time to come clean. So I said to R, "Yeah, well, let me tell you about that guy, honey..."

I proceeded to tell R that we'd seen him at Meet the Teacher Night and how I didn't want to tell R how I knew him. Then I got into exactly why I didn't want R to know how I knew him.

I met him when I worked at the library at a local university. I was the youngest person who worked there, and the only woman under the age of 40. I was 21, at the peak of my cuteness (I mean, sure, I'm cute now, but this was before my body had squeezed out three children - back when my boobies were perkier and my ass was more compact). At 29, he was the closest person on the staff to my age, so we hung out. We were kinda thrown together by circumstance. And, long story short, pretty soon we hung out in varying states of undress.

R took a gander at the guy and gave me a look that said, YOU? And HIM???? And I can't defend it. He was gross ten years earlier, and he was even grosser when I saw him again. Not that I'm Angelina Jolie or anything, but seriously, it was embarrassing to admit that I had any kind of history with this guy.

Back in the day, he lived at home (as did I) and he also had model airplanes suspended from the ceiling in his bedroom. Am I painting enough of a picture for you? He had a teaching certificate (as I was in the process of acquiring - yes, I could teach high school if I wanted to). He had been dating one of his former students, which I thought was kinda icky. But she had broken up with him because after more than a year, she woke up and realized that dating an almost 30-year-old man when you're barely 17 is kinda weird.

To his credit, he did have a certain set of skills that were well above average. And he knew some great locations where we wouldn't get busted. Did you know there are tunnels underneath the library that go under Natural Bridge Road to the campus? Yeah, well, very few people do. And the library after dark can be quite a seductive place.

This guy is the only guy who's ever been able to get me to agree to watch even part of an episode of Star Trek. R's taken me to Ren Faires and Pirate Festivals, so he's deflowered my Inner Geek, but R knows I won't watch Star Trek for fuckin ANYBODY. Based on this fact, and unable to resist the opportunity to fuckin mock me, R came up with the name we've used for the guy ever since - Shatner.

A few months after I started working at the library with Shatner, my mom's job was transferred to San Antonio, and I told him I was planning to move there with my family. Here's when things got weird. Shatner told me he was applying for a teaching job in Brownsville, Texas. It's not close, but it's still Texas. He gave me a purple t-shirt with a picture of Racer X on it. He also told me he loved me. Uh... ewwww. Yeah, he was fun to mess around with and everything as long as nobody knew about it, but don't go fuckin it up talkin' love, dude. Just, No.

So the semester ended and I moved to San Antonio, and for a while I got very emotional letters from him that I never answered. It wasn't the right way to handle it, I know, I guess I just didn't really know how to respond. And then, one day, I got a spiral-bound typed Star Trek Fan Fiction Story in the mail that he had written, which included me (using my real first and last name) as the lovable slut of the story. Yes, I read the entire thing, and it Freaked. My. Ass. OUT. I kinda wish I hadn't thrown it away now, though.

Three years later I had moved back to St. Louis and was just starting to date R. After having had zero contact after the story he sent me, I saw Shatner again working at a grocery store near R's apartment. There's NO way, I thought. But it was him, no doubt. I checked the nametag. Ugh. I hoped he figured I had to be somebody who looked an awful lot like me, since I was still living in Texas, for all he knew.

R and I got married and for years I'd periodically see Shatner at the store, but I'd never said anything to R about him. And then, there we were, all of us on the playground one day, me confessing my past inexplicable indiscretions to my husband while Shatner stared at me. And the whole story tumbled out just as jumbled and non-linear as I'm sure it sounds to you now.

The next time we went to the grocery store and saw him, R gave me shit. "HEY SARAH!! Sarah (my maiden name)!!!" within earshot of Shatner. I was pissed, but I figured at this point he had to know who I was and if he hadn't said anything to me up to this point he probably wasn't going to. Since then we've also run into him (literally hit his cart with my cart) and his little familia at Target and around town a few times, and he's never said anything to me. R thinks his wife looks like a praying mantis. And every time I see Shatner, I swear, I get the rumbling in my belly like I've just eaten about fifty White Castles.

This is the price I pay for being rid of archnemeses Stella Dallas and Dr. Eyeball for the next three years. Still, I'll take Shatner's creepy unrequited love over those bitches and the Daisy Troop Puppet Regime any day.

Should be an interesting year.

Monday, July 28, 2008


I think I've settled on a name that will represent the Penny I like being - the real, everyday me.

Penny Fantastic. Only not pronounced Fan-tas-tic. You have to say it like this, syllable by sillyble:

Lower your chin just a bit, bite your bottom lip all sexy-like, close your eyes, and whisper Fahhhhhn in your best Salma Hayek / Antonio Banderas voice.

When you get to the Tast part (only pronouced more like DUST), raise your chin quickly and shake your head just enough to create the effect of the wind in your hair.

And on the final syllable, Teek, open your eyes and smile warmly. Add a contented sigh, if you are so inclined. Or lick your lips; that's fun, too.

Practice it in front of the mirror. I did.

I still love the moniker Penny McBadass, and she'll make periodic appearances, I'm sure. I'd love to unleash Penny McBadass on the Church Nazi, for example. I watched One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (which'll make you feel pretty good about your life and snap you into sanity pretty quickly, let me just say) over the weekend, and dude, Church Nazi is FULL ON Miss Ratched. Down to the hairdo.

Beebie's party was an overwhelming success, I was so relieved. I didn't think I needed to tell you that I'd lost sleep worrying about it the night before. Anyone who knows me would assume that. And anyone who's been to one of my parties knows I really had nothing to worry about - I'm a great party planner. The girls had so much fun. R did a great job getting them to the Old Courthouse, the New Cathedral, Union Station, the Aloe Fountain, and Ted Drewes to find clues that would help them find the treasure. They even got to take the Metrolink, which they loved. West County kids don't always get to experience Public Transportation.

It was a long day, too. The girls arrived at 1, got back to the house for Imo's Pizza (a St. Louis tradition), and didn't leave until almost 8. At about 8:30, RVW came over, straight from a 14-hour drive from the Canadian border. He helped us finish off the pizza and had some of our awesome cheap beer. I explained to Rip my relationship with the Hamm (and apologized for being a shitty hostess and not engaging in deep, philosophical conversation) and informed him that at 9 we would be watching Mad Men. And we did. Good times. Missed ya, Rip.

I've enjoyed my first day of cable, kinda. I discovered a show called HURL! which Pie and I watched together. Five contestants eat as much of some designated food (this time it was Cream of Spinach soup) as they can and then they get on some Carnival ride and try not to Hurl while the crowd below cheers them on and tries to avoid the barf raining from the sky. The winner ate 3.7 pounds of soup, rode the Flamethrower without Hurling, then ate another couple of pounds of Organic Tuna Casserole (not sure what the Organic part had to do with anything, but they pointed it out). Major creativity props to whatever high school kids came up with the concept for that show.

I was hoping that there would be lots more choices available to me when I inevitably woke up at about 3am. And there really wasn't. I flipped through all 8000 channels for about twenty minutes and finally decided to watch the last few minutes of The Brady Bunch. It was one of the later episodes, when Bobby and Cindy were in awkward phases of puberty and Jan had those two dipshit curls on the sides of her head in addition to her long blonde hair.

The kids are LOVING cable. And they didn't come in and wake me up this morning like they usually do. That's worth the money, right there.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Damn you, Hamm!

For years, I have prided myself on the fact that my household is cable-free. It was an expense I could never justify, and I didn't want my kids to turn into TV junkies (right now they're just PBS junkies, which doesn't seem as bad since it's educational). And you may remember the less-than-stellar customer service experience I had with those fuckin fuckwits at Charter. My blood boils every time I think about that bullshit.

I've endured countless Sunday afternoons in which two network channels were showing Golf at the same time. I never even minded having to wait for entire seasons of a cable show to be released on DVD. So what if I'm a year behind? Just don't tell me what's going to happen.

Anyway, as I've mentioned, for the last several days R and I have been watching Season One of Mad Men on DVD. Yesterday we finished the last disc.

Today we're having cable installed so we can watch the Season Two Premiere tonight. And it's all because of Jonathan Hamm, The Beautiful Man.


I figure I'll pay for it out of my yarn budget. I can't remember the last time I bought yarn. Seriously. I haven't knit once since I made that corsage for Maeby months ago. Wait, I knit a little bit at the Steve Miller concert, maybe three or four rows, but that's it. I just haven't felt like it recently.

In other news, today is Beebie's birthday party. The Odyssexy is transformed, check it!

The party will be a treasure hunt that takes Beeb and her friends to various local landmarks to find clues. R will be the navigator, I'm staying home with the boys. I hope R's patience holds up.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Busy Week.

I decided to try halving my dose of Wellbutrin and cutting out caffeine completely. We'll see if it makes a difference.

The big news of the week was that my parents came to visit and Beebie turned eleven (which, as you know, is one better than ten). My parents' visit was pleasant, drama-free, and full of the unconditional love that I grew up with and R didn't. I needed that. My mom even said I looked like I'd lost weight. Why, thank you, yes, I have.

The kids were SO GOOD. I was so, so proud of them. My parents had kinda had a whirlwind last two weeks, with Grandma's funeral and everything, then my mom had to fly home, work a day, then fly here early the next morning. They really needed a vacation, so I talked to the kids and let them know that Nana and PopPop might be a little tired when they're here. Most of the time we all just hung out at our friend B's pool, which is what would have been the kids' first choice anyway, so it worked out great.

We all even went shopping one of the days (I don't even know what day it is today, honestly, this week's been hella nuts) and spent nearly 5 hours at the mall. And nobody whined, nobody complained, nobody acted like a butthead, they were awesome. Beeb got a bunch of cute new stuff for school and the boys got some stuff too, so everyone was happy. Mom even bought me some skinny jeans and two pairs of skinny shorts because the ones I was wearing were about to fall off of me.

Another day we took the kids to see Wall-E (I was a little bummed out about seeing it, because a while ago KOFA and I had talked about seeing it with all of our kids, but he's not really back in my life yet). During the movie, I kept hearing a weird sound from a guy in the row behind me, somewhere between a grunt and a moan. It was repetitive, but not exactly rhythmic.
Completely weird.

And of course, my mind went all kinds of crazy places, thinking there's some psycho freak sitting directly behind my little boy, spankin' it in a movie theater full of kids. I didn't want to turn around and call attention to it, because A) I figured that was what he wanted and B) I didn't want Tito to turn around and witness said psycho freak Punchin' the Clown because I'm just really not prepared to handle the Masturbation Conversation right now, ok?? Call me old-fashioned, but Tito's five. He's still figuring out how to pee without taking his pants all the way off.

These disturbing noises went on for the ENTIRE movie. Nobody else was turning around or saying anything to the guy, was I the only one who could hear it? He sat down after we did so I didn't know if there were people sitting near him or what and I couldn't turn around discreetly. Seriously, I thought I'd be sick.

And then finally the lights came on, and I turned around to discover that sitting behind us was a group of handicapped kids/young adults. And I felt like an asshole. But admit it, you'd have thought the same thing I did when you heard that sound.


Yeah. The girls had made some posters to take to the concert which were confiscated at the gate (y'know, cuz 11 year old girls running around with paper are scary and dangerous). The security people promised to make sure the Jo Bros got them, and then the girls were bummed out that they hadn't thought to write their names and phone numbers on the posters. But it was fun to see Beebie so excited. She had a blast.

Wednesday, her birthday, also happened to be the day that my parents went home. That's always a sad day for all of us, myself included. I like my parents. I love that my kids have so much fun with them. And it's so laid back, too. Nothing we could do would make them not love us anymore.

Such a contrast from hanging out with the Inlaws. There's always the possibility that you might not get invited back to FIL's, although that would mean he can't belittle and intimidate you in person anymore which wouldn't be any fun for him, so I doubt he'd really enforce it; he'd just threaten it. Fuck that. I'm glad my kids see that FIL's way is not the only way.

Ok, so for her birthday Beeb chose to go to Dairy Queen for lunch. They have some damn good burgers there. Who knew? At some point while we were all eating our Dilly Bars, somebody spilled their ice water in my mom's lap.

I fuckin LOVE having a camera with me at all times.

The kids thought it was funny.

And it was.

But it got funnier.

And funnier.


And finally she just sat spread eagle in the sun, hoping her crotch would dry before she had to get on the plane.

And the best part - I can cry again! I cried laughing. And I cried when they left, too. Mostly because the kids were so pitiful.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Is it wrong to be proud?

Your result for The Verbal Obscenity Test...

Champion Cusser

You are 70% capable of making other people's ears hurt!

So, how'd you do?

I'm in awe, since you're clearly not afraid of a little rough language! At the same time, you don't go completely mad with it, and I'm guessing you know when to hold your tongue so people don't want to punch you. Which is awesome, since being beaten up is such a drag anyway. You might pull out the swear words - and you might know the various slang fairly well - but you probably also appreciate that its use is mainly just to show that you mean business.

What occasion, I hear you ask? Well, some people find talking dirty arousing. Sometimes swearing can be helpful in looking tough when one of those hoodlum-types approaches you. Using some language on your boss may also be effective in stirring things up, but maybe that's just me. Either way, be careful, as getting your timing wrong can result in getting fired, or sleeping alone for the next month. Use your good judgement!

I've got some other tests you can try if you like...

The Celebrity Misbehaviour Test

Find out what your life as a celebrity would be like.

The Shampoo Commercial Suitability Test

Is YOUR hair worth it?

The Excessive Cuteness Tolerance Test

Say it with me: "awwwwwwwwwwwwww!"

Is Your Boss Evil?

... or are they just really thick?

The Internet/SMS Literacy Test

Do you know your LOLs from your LMAOs?

The Scatterbrain Test

Are you ready? Are you focused?

The Underwear Personality Test

Most of us wear underwear. Should you? What kind?

The Beverage Identity Test

If you were a drink, would you tingle the tastebuds?

The Non-Sequitur Personality Test

It won't make any sense, but it's not supposed to.

The Homicidal Maniac Test

My first test. Want to know if you're likely to wreak bloody havoc?

Finally, a fun link for those of you interested in brushing up on your swearing skills: click here to view The "Alternative" English Dictionary

Take The Verbal Obscenity Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, July 21, 2008


I feel like my medicated posts are not nearly as engrossing as the ones with the raw, unfiltered emotion throughout. I'm a better writer when I'm feeling the feelings I'm writing about. Sorry if I've become boring, BMB faithful. If it's any consolation, I'm boring to me too.

I've been sleeping about 4 consecutive hours for the last couple of nights, which is great, for me, but I'm still having a hard time waking up during the day. I still feel kinda foggy and not all there. Stuff that should affect me doesn't. That's the price I pay for not having the stuff that really shouldn't be a big deal bring me down like before. It's a sucky situation any way you look at it, really.

It feels so unnatural. Stuff that probably shouldn't make me cry but normally would isn't making me cry anymore, which I suppose is a good thing, but the things that should make me cry don't either. I'm apathetic. I'm detached. I don't like it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So Tired.

I haven't been sleeping well at all since going back on the meds. Occasionally I've been able to sneak in a quick afternoon nap, but for the most part I'm running on pure adrenaline, and that tank's about dry.

So I have a bunch of random stuff to mention. None of it's earth-shattering, I just felt like talking.

Last night RVW invited us over to swim in his backyard pool. The kids and I went over in the afternoon, and R met us after work. Rip was so cool, he brought a cooler of Old Style to the pool and then he offered to make dinner for all of us. So nice! I love "play it by ear" kinds of evenings. He made chicken and peas and potatoes and the kids ate all of it. They were so polite and well-behaved. I was really proud. I'm a hardass, but it's so that when we go places, they don't act like morons. And they were great. It was a fun night.

R and I don't have cable so we like to rent entire seasons of TV shows. Six Feet Under remains my all-time favorite (although if the cocksuckin tittylickers at HBO hadn't cancelled Deadwood, I'd be willing to bet Swearengen would have passed up Fisher and Sons). But we've been watching Mad Men, and if you guys haven't seen it, it really brilliant.

I've wanted to see it since Jon Hamm won a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination for his role on the show, cuz he's a Local Boy Done Good. Let me tell ya a bit about him. Remember my roommate Shirley who did the pumpkin stalking of that one dude with me? Jon wasn't the pumpkin stalking victim, but she and I had an English class with Jon back at MU in the early nineties, and even back then one could just sense that he was going to go on to be Somebody.

He didn't know us from Adam, but a sorority sister of ours knew him through the Theater department, so we'd always know what play he was going to be in next. He was quite impressive as Lysander in Midsummer Night's Dream. And we paid top coin for good seats.

We called him Jonathan Hamm - The Beautiful Man. Seriously, I can recall him so clearly, my heart still ... hang on ... stops when I think about that guy.

He'd walk in the room, his handsomely chiseled features shadowed by a baseball cap, and we would just swoon. He was, like, impossibly beautiful. That's the only way I can think to describe him. Beyond beautiful. He was aesthetically flawless. Like a work of art, almost. When he spoke, it would jolt us because we couldn't believe he was real. And he had the sexxxxxiest voice, too. Oh, my God, when he'd answer a question in class, we'd just melt.

Fuck, I need a drink. I'm sweating.

Anyway, R and I have been watching this show, and girls, you owe it to yourselves to check this dude out. He is a wicked fuckin sexy man. And he plays a bad boy, too. My favorite.

God forbid Jon Hamm Googles himself and finds this.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Penny Who?

Ok, I'm still kicking around some Penny names, and here's the criteria I want you all to use when offering your opinion:

It needs to sound good with the words "DON'T FUCK WITH... " in front of it.

Don't fuck with Penny Fantastic. (not hard core enough?)
Don't fuck with Penny Unstoppable. (too many syllables?)
Don't fuck with Penny McBadass. (a salute to my pseudo-Irishness)

I'm still taking nominations. I need to make a decision soon though, so I can test out this new Penny persona. Maybe later on today I'll kick in a door and yell "DON'T FUCKIN FUCK WITH PENNY MCBADASS!" just to see if it works for me.

Y'know, for research purposes.

Also, try the Penny name coupled with the following phrases:

The Wrath Of...
Tell 'em ... (insert Penny name of your choice) sentcha!

And it would probably be good, when testing out your Penny nominee, to slur the words a bit, to see if it would sound impressively intimidating and menacing if a drunk person said it. Cuz chances are, a drunk person probably will.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Is It Day Six Already?

Here are some of the Penny names I've been kicking around. I can't decide which one I like best.

Penny Supreme
Penny Fantastic
Penny Royale
Ultra Penny

I thought of Penny Supreme as the "One Penny to rule them all". But then I just like the sound of Penny Fantastic. Penny Royale is good too, but it also has a bit of a Diva vibe to it that's not really me. Ultra Penny sounds kinda like a super hero, kinda like a maxi pad. So I'm torn.

Today is the final day of the Anti-Stellathon. Tuesday we met at Grant's Farm. Don't know if you've been watching the news, but the recent buyout of Anheuser-Busch put the future of My Second Home in jeopardy. And that might be why, when we arrived, there was a HELLA CRAZY line in the parking lot (if you've ever been there, it extended past where the busses park) like I've never seen, just to cross the street so you could wait in another line to get on the Tram. But the word on the street is that Grant's Farm is safe. Thank Saint Arnold. I'da been so pissed.

We stood in line for at least 40 minutes, rode the tram to where the animals are, literally sprinted through the animal section (nope, can't pet the goats today, kids!), then I got in the beer line and sucked that Select back in less than 5 minutes (and she had a sip of it - swear to God!) while she and the kids got in the return-tram line to go back home. That was it. And believe it or not, none of the kids complained.

Yesterday we took the kids to see Shrek 3, and today we took them to see Veggie Tales - The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Shrek 3 was okay, but Veggie Tales had kindof an abstract plot that I didn't really understand. And I thought if I, an adult of above-average intelligence, didn't understand it, then how's a kid going to understand it? But I guess if they see a bunch of animated characters on a big screen and hear a poop joke, they're gonna like it, so whatever, it was free.

It's been almost a week on the meds, and I feel considerably better. I don't know why Penny Dark fights the meds so hard. This is how I want to feel. I would describe it to the unmedicated as almost a slight delay at the start of what might be an intense moment which allows me to slow down my emotional reaction long enough to feel like I am in control of it.

This leads me into a bit of Damage Control. I assume my regulars know who upset me so much last week. Well, let me give you some insight into the drama. First and foremost, we are very close friends, and it is a loving, yet platonic relationship. R is fully aware of it, nothing has happened behind his back, no lines have been crossed, there are no secrets, but there are obviously very deep feelings. My emotions last week are clearly indicative of that.

But really, the root of it is a dear friendship. And let me tell you something about FS-H. He is the kind of friend who's not afraid to kick my ass when it needs kicking, even if it meant I might never talk to him again. And my ass needed kicking. Without giving too much unnecessary detail, too much of my heart and my energy was going into my relationship with FS-H. I know R felt it too, and I feel horrible about it now.

Full Spectrum - Heartbreaker's decision to walk away was so that I could focus more on R and my kids. Yeah, it hurt because it felt like it came out of nowhere, and I didn't want to lose his friendship, but it was the right thing. I've never disagreed with that. He didn't do anything wrong. And I was never really angry, just unbeliveably sad.

The problem was, after our last phone conversation last Monday, I didn't necessarily think it was forever. I knew it might be a while before I would hang out with him, because R is going to make the call as to when he feels that my focus is where it should be and that my friendship with FS-H is not detracting from our marriage (and if R never gets to that point, then yes, I realize it could possibly be forever, but I don't think it will come to that). So yeah, I was upset, but I felt like he and I were on the same page with it, and it still didn't feel permanent, if that makes sense.

And then on Tuesday morning, I spoke to a friend of his who had spent time with him Monday night (and who reads this blog - but probably won't read it anymore after today), and this person led me to believe, beyond any doubt, that it was, indeed OVER. FOREVER. Get over it, move on. I'm really trying to be fair and keep my personal opinions out of it, so maybe this person was trying to be my friend and make me focus like they knew FS-H wanted me to, and it's possible that this friend sincerely believed that what they were saying was true. I suppose I can see that, giving them the benefit of the doubt.

But at no time did this person say anything even remotely encouraging like "Well, maybe you're right, maybe it's not forever." No, no. IT WAS OVER. No question. Pack it up, girl, he's gone. I honestly didn't think it was, when I last spoke to him directly, but after I talked to this friend, suddenly I was 100% sure I would never, ever hear from him again.

I truly believed that he'd left without saying Goodbye or I'm sorry, without clarifying the status to make sure I understood, without emotion, without anything that sounded like a Final Scene, you know? Wasn't he going to miss me? The way I know him, he would never do that to me. I should have trusted my gut, but I didn't.

Bottom line, my entire outlook on the situation was changed solely through my conversation with this one individual. I'm trying really hard not to slam them, I'm not bringing up any past history or inserting any of my own theories which might shed some light on their possible motivation, but that is the absolute, hand-to-God truth. I was relatively ok, UNTIL I spoke to this person. Then I was a fucking mess, as you all witnessed.

THAT's what fucked with my head. Not what he actually did, what someone else led me to believe he did. I allowed someone else to poison my thinking. I let someone else make me think things about him that I knew weren't consistent with his character. I let them turn me away from him when he hadn't done anything wrong. I knew better, I knew better. I knew he wouldn't treat me like that, and yet, I believed, completely.

And the last week, I've had to decide whether to let Penny Dark rule my world or pull myself together and continue with my life. As you've read recently, it's been difficult. But the way I see it,
FS-H gave me a gift.

A big ol' kick in the ass.

I went back on the meds. I've been more patient with my kids and I've enjoyed spending more time with them. I've been more loving towards R, and R's been more loving towards me. We've enjoyed each other's company. It's been wonderful.

FS-H gave me clarity, sanity, patience, a fun summer with my kids, a reconnection with my fantastic husband (and you all think you know how much I love R, but he has stood by me through it all and I love him like you can't imagine) and a loving, happy marriage that is growing stronger every day.

Even if I never get to talk to him again, EVERYONE should have a friend like KOFA.

(That really wasn't a surprise, was it?)

Here's What Keeps Me Going.

So you might have seen the comment Anti-Stella (FerrisFamilyFun) left me yesterday. I called last night to see if she was serious. She was. So after I take Beeb to the doctor this morning, I'm gonna go git my A.M. drank on.

AND, just to amuse myself and others of like mind, I'm totally gonna make Anti-Stella (who's about to pop out a kid, like, any second) waddle up and get her complimentary samples just so I can see the looks on people's faces. And so I can drink her free samples, of course, DUH! I'll take a picture if she's cool with it.

Tomorrow and Thursday we're taking the kids to see free movies at AMC and Wehrenberg, respectively. And then Friday I'll be cleaning my house and getting ready for my parents to come over on Saturday. I'll be to Meds Day 10 before I know it. That'll help.

Yesterday I took Pie to the doctor. He said his tummy hurt and it hurt him to pee. My immediate instinct, given his issues, was that it was his kidneys. I got him in to see the pediatrician later that morning, and on the way there, I tried to prepare him for the fact that he would have to pee in a cup. He's never done that before, and he doesn't like things that break from the norm, so I thought a heads-up might be in order.

We got to the doctor's office and I wish I could properly articulate how funny the whole scene was. Pie stood there slackjawed while the nurse handed me the cups (one empty, one with soapy water and cotton balls, one with clear water and cotton balls) and explained to me how to use them. We went into the bathroom and I told him to get it in the cup and not on my shoes, or we're gonna have words.

I must have scared him.

He just kinda stood there with this ridiculously inconvenienced expression - chin jutting out, eyes rolled, exasperated sigh. Total classic Pie. I was trying so hard not to laugh.

Dude, c'mon...

I don't want to do this! I think I feel better!

Which totally reminded me of when the old man in the Bring Out Yer Dead! scene in Holy Grail says I think I'll go for a walk, so I started to giggle a little bit. That really, forgive the pun, pissed him off. He put his hands on his hips, which looked absolutely hysterical with his shorts around his ankles.

So I asked him if he'd rather sit down, and that worked much better. And as we were washing our hands, he said,

Hey, Mom... is this why we call Dr. F. a PEE-diatrician??

And I almost peed my pants.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Side Effect O' The Day: Insomnia.

I'd forgotten about the Super Colon Blow effect that anti-depressants have on me (there's really no such thing as TMI between us anymore, is there?). But I hadn't forgotten about the insomnia. I was dreading this.

The good news is that poor R will finally get some sleep. R has been so awesome, so patient - incredible in light of the some of the stuff I'm sad about. He's never told me to snap the fuck out of it, just asks me what I need and what he can do for me. He's helped with everyday stuff without being asked, like the dishes and getting the Apes ready for bed, while I've been a snivelling wreck.

The last week, y'all, FUH-HUH-HUH-HUCK.

This whole month has sucked. I've been remembering the last three July 4th parties at Chez Inlaw, including the most recent one, and I'm thinking I'll just rip July right out of my calendar. This last week and a half has been enough for me to just skip the first two weeks of July completely, forevermore.

Jack died three years ago July 9th, while we were at the Collinsville Ketchup Festival. So whenever I see the Festival on the news, I cry. I hate that we had no idea how sick he was. We knew how sick Grandma was, and we've all had time to get used to missing her. In a lot of ways, she'd been gone long before last Saturday.

I'd like to just have the second half of July, so I can go to Beeb's birthday party and not have to spend the three weeks prior feeling how much your child's birthday ages you. I'm a young 37. I never feel like any of my friends is any older or younger than me, unless there's some pop culture refernce they don't get.

Beeb's turning 11. She's going into Junior High. She's going to be at that great big school with the big kids. But she's just a teeny Beebie! She can't be that old. It makes me feel old. Like I should be smarter than I am. Like I should have learned something by now. I shouldn't make stupid mistakes. I should be able to deal with my life like a grownup. I should know who I am. That's been depressing me too.

That, and the other stuff. There's SO much I want to say about that relationship, you guys, just to put it all out there so you can understand why its untimely and unexpected end is hitting me so hard. But I'd never, ever badmouth that person, and I'd rather not rip that wound open publicly without the permission of everyone involved. And we're not talking, so it might be a while before I go there.

Ok, random tangent (I have the TV on) - how can Rachael Ray stand the sound of her own voice?

So anyway, my insomnia is good for R, because if I can't sleep, I can't snore. R and I both snore. Not always, but I have been recently. And I'll lie there in bed with my eyes closed, and the second I fall asleep enough to start hhhhhhhhhh....., R kicks me in the back. Or the ass. Or the thigh. Or else he just rubs his foot up my leg and I freak out because he knows I hate it when other people's feet touch me. It wakes me up instantly and I know exactly why he's doing it.

One of two things happens every night. Either R gets sick of kicking me and he gets up and sleeps on the sofa, or I get sick of getting kicked and I get up and sleep on the sofa. Last night I fell asleep at about 10:30, then I woke up at 12:30 and turned on the TV quietly for a few minutes while R slept. Then I got tired of trying to read the captions and I turned the TV off and tried to sleep.

I woke up at 3:40 to R kicking me.

"I'll go...", I said.

So I grabbed my favorite red blanket, went to the sofa, and waited for morning. I'm so tired. But I'm going to get up, go out with the kids, and fill my day with activity so dark thoughts don't have a chance to sneak in there. I'm going to bury myself in busy.

Here's my question for you. Is that good? Is that healthy? Or is that denial? Part of me wants to cry in my closet all day. I feel like if I wanted to be true to myself, to my feelings, that's what I'd do. By going out and doing things, am I just hiding from Penny Dark, who is an actual, real part of me? Is that okay? It might not be how everybody deals, but it kinda works for me.

I need a name for the Penny I want to be, and I don't like the name Penny Normal. Normal and me just aren't words that go together. Penny Real? Penny Me? Penny Badass? Penny Righteous? Shall we open the floor for nominations?

How about Penny Tyler Moore?
You're gonna make it after all...

Nah, I think I'm more of a Rhoda.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Still got my signature pre-pubescent sense of humor. Yay!

This is Meds Day Two, if you're playing along at home.

Yesterday (Meds Day One) I was just kinda lethargic and fighting my own hatred. I hate that I need the meds. I hate who I am without them. I hate how pathetic and defeated I feel right now.

And I'd forgotten how much anti-depressants mess with my system. Kinda poetic how I'm trying to feel like my life's NOT in the shitter, and yet, every ten minutes, where am I? Yeah. On the plus side, one thing I will say about depression - I've lost weight.

Still, I managed to get out of the house with R and the Apes. R wanted to get a camelback personal hydration system because he's looking to get into Airsoft, kinda like paintball (which he used to do before we had a baby and got married). I wanted some flip-flops, and I don't go for the $2 Old Navy ones. I want something more substantial. So we went to Cabela's.

Cabela's is full of stuff that sounds dirty, but isn't. Stuff that sounds funny when you say "I got yer (fill in the blank) right here" or "I'll (something) YOUR (something)."

For example:

I got yer Bouyant Cushions right here. See?

I'll Seek YOUR Slab...

I'll Troll YOUR Depths with my Master Rod...

This one doesn't really need a caption.

I suppose if I were a guy and if my pants suddenly went all (ahem) 3-D on me, A) I hope I'd be somewhere secluded, and B) I'd be relieved to know that a random tent pole's not going to rip them. I'm guessing these pants are a godsend for the boy who sits in a deer blind with a Hustler mag.

Speaking of Hustler, can you believe I got cut from the August issue just because I refused to wear the sequined camo bikini? I just thought it was tacky. I have standards, people.

Doesn't the look on my face just say,
"You gotta be FUCKIN KIDDING ME..."?

Historically, I tend to feel better when I give myself a project to focus on instead of my own funk. I pour myself into projects and surround myself with my various relationships so I'm not bored and alone, because that's when Penny Dark wants to come out to play. When I have important stuff to do (like beating Guitar Hero Aerosmith) and people who think I'm cool, I kinda feel a greater sense of purpose and motivation and I feel less extraneous. Extraneous is the feeling I'm trying to overcome.

Yes, I know my personal sense of worth should come from within, and for a while I was working on improving that, but, hey, it just isn't me. Have you noticed I've blogged more in the last two weeks than I did all last month? I feel like you guys are there for me. Thanks.

This week's project has been planning Beeb's birthday party. She's been kinda sad because my Grandma's death coincided with her annual trip to visit my parents and she didn't get to go. This is the same trip she almost didn't get to go on last year because I just about strangled her in the airport after what has since become known as The Liquid Incident. That's a great story. I know she's really disappointed, she had been looking forward to the trip for months. But I'm kinda glad she'll be home, I was going to miss her.

I can't give a lot of detail about her party because it's supposed to be a surprise/mystery destination sort of thing, but it should be cool. We're only inviting four of her friends (three of whom are triplets), so I won't be too overwhelmed, I hope.

My parents will be in town from Saturday to Wednesday. They're not going to be staying with us, so that's less pressure on me. I was thinking about opening up the floor to some questions you might have for my parents, just for fun. Of course, I'll ask them all nonchalantly, not, "Oh, the people that read my blog want to know..." just because I really don't feel like explaining the existence or the content of this blog to them.

I feel like there was something else I was going to write about. OH!!!

R found more Cheap Shmitty at WalMart! So now, quite literally, we have 100 bottles of beer on the wall. Well, really, on the dining room floor and on the buffet. Anti-Stella suggested we decorate with them. I just might.

And for Poops:

Old Purse.

New Purse.

And to answer a question Rip asked, yes, lip gloss flavor matters. My favorite lip gloss is Body Shop Hi-Shine Lip Treatment. It's normally outside of my Emergency Retail Therapy Lip Gloss Budget, but the one I have (Mauve Dream, I think) I got free. It tastes like passionfruit. No complaints yet!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Emergency Retail Therapy

I want to thank everyone for the empathy and encouragement recently. And thank you especially for not doing one of those disgusting cheesy cheerleader "Turn That Frown Upside Down, Charlie Brown!" ridiculous bullshit. Sure, you can outthink your depression. SURE ya can. Right.

I deal with my depression in my own way. First, if I'm sad, sometimes it helps me to find something in the situation that I can be angry about instead. Yes, it's completely unproductive and it resolves absolutely nothing, but isn't it waaaay more fun to be pissed off than sad? It is for me.

Oh, there's a part of me that relishes being pissed off. Why? Cuz It's ON. I go into Penny Scorned mode. She's way more powerful Penny Dark. She can kick Penny Dark's ASS. I dig deep and find inner strength I didn't know I had. And I get eloquent and creative. It may manifest itself as a poem or as some poetically spiteful act of vengeance. Stay on my good side. I'm serious.

But in this case, I can't be pissed. FS-H didn't do anything wrong, really. Hurtful, yes, indescribably painful, but not wrong. It was right. I don't disagree. And I'd like to be pissed so I can be something other than sad, but I can't be pissed, so now I'm just frustrated as fuck. And that's worse than sad.

My other means of dealing with depression (in a short-term sense, which sometimes is enough) is through small amounts of Retail Therapy. I'd never go out and drop a hundred bucks or anything, because what's more depressing than getting the Bounced Check notice in the mail and realizing you have no money? No, I indulge maybe $5 in a lip gloss, and pretty soon, I feel better. And apparently I do it quite often because my Tito has caught onto it.

Here's what he said about me on Mother's Day.

So I was in need of a lil RT, and it somehow occurred to me that I probably have enough lip glosses. And instead of a lip gloss, I thought I'd get something new to keep my lip glosses in. Like perhaps, a cool purse! I was getting kinda sick of the one I'd been carrying. It was too big.

I go back and forth between a too-big purse and one that's not really big enough. This has gone on constantly for the last eleven years, roughly since I started having to carry baby paraphernalia with me, like Ziploc bags with Cheerios and wipes and an emergency extra onesie at all times.

Anyway, I dumped my old purse out to transfer everything into my righteous new hemp purse I got at Whole Foods Market.

Would you like to guess how many lip glosses I had in my old purse?

Go on, guess.

SEVENTEEN. Count 'em.

And that's just in my PURSE. I have more in my bathroom, next to the bed, on my dresser. I had no idea I had so many.

I do have some Hella Sexy lips, and of course I do love to draw undue attention to them as well as my other top features, but I didn't realize I was the Imelda Marcos of lip gloss. I'm sure there's some glaring psychological implication.

Speaking of psychological implications, I'm starting back on the meds today. Stay tuned.

Grandma passed peacefully this morning. I'm glad my mom could be there with her brothers and sister. Thanks to everybody who offered to road-trip it to Ohio with me so I could be there, but I'm really okay. Yes, I'm the Ultimate Road Trip Companion, and you'd get to meet my awesome family as a bonus, but I'd rather plan something fun, not Road Trip Funeral. Under other circumstances, though, I'd love to.

Maybe I'll write a book and go on tour. Pimp out the Odyssexy like the Madden Bus with a hot tub and a knitting nook for my groupies. And plenty of room for my lip gloss!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Now Auditioning for the Role of Drinking Buddy

So last night R and I went out to drinks with a new pal we'll call, per his request, Rip Van Winkle. It has to do with his being asleep in a marriage for 20 years and just now waking up to life - plus he played the part of RVW in a play in 8th grade.

Great guy, nice time. Went to Clancy's for Dollar Burgers, one of my most favoritest places, as you may recall. It was fun, plus, I love introducing people to Clancy's.

So I got this email from him this morning. He wanted to post it to my blog, so here y'all go:

OK so all you very hip and cool people out there, I am about to make y’all jealous as HE-double hockey sticks. You don’t even KNOW me, but you are jealous. Trust me.

You see, I am a Penny Karma newbie. Somehow, buy sheer dumb luck, we connected through cyberspace, and once I “beheld” her brilliance, I knew that this Penny chick was something very special. This connection happened, what? About a week ago, maybe? And here’s the make-you-all-jealous part: PK and R invited me to drinks with them! Yes, I broke bread and bottlecaps with the excitingly scintillating Penny Karma.

With the anxious anticipation of a kid waiting for Christmas morning to arrive, I tried to put this all in context while sipping a beer at the very cool irish bar where we were to meet. PK is in a “dark” swing through life right now. What in the world caused this woman to decide to meet a total stranger on this day, at this place? Is there something I can offer to her and R that will help them put some perspective to their lives? I am older than they, by a healthy decade, and maybe that’s a good thing from a life experience standpoint. But the “wisdom of the elder” thing just doesn’t seem to be what drew PK to ask me to party with her. Not sure, but I ain’t complainin’.

Having read a bit (not most and certainly not all) of her blog, and then the comments from the good people who have found her, I know that I should consider myself to be very fortunate, and I do. Intelligence and sparkling wit and brilliant storytelling, when all wrapped up in one person, do not come along very often. R and I actually sat there and talked to Penny about how she should try her hand at writing, really writing, some stories, for publication. To me, this elder-type PK newbie, nothing could be more clear. She has a talent for something that, for her, is “easy,” and following that talent should be a natural thing.

I don’t know exactly what will come of this new friendship that I hope to foster with Penny and R. I am fresh from a long marriage and my search for new friends has just begun, and I need all the friends I can get. I get the sense that once Penny’s friend, always a friend, and the same is true for me, so perhaps there is hope that we can find each other mutually beneficial in the friend department.

Oh, one last thing: To quote the Divine Miss K: “They’re real and they’re spectacular.” Yup. Have to agree there! Thanks for the hug, darlin’!

I'm assuming he's talking about my stunning blue eyes. I didn't whip my tomaters out or anything. I usually save that for the second non-date. ;)

And I think you'll all appreciate this conversation we had as we were leaving - I was saying that I think of myself more as a Penny than a Sarah.

I've never thought the name Sarah suited me. It's too boring and Puritanical.

Penny suits you. Penny's fun. Pennies are bright and shiny.

Except when they're tarnished, like me, you mean?

No, no! Pennies are great. It's just kinda sad that nobody bothers to pick them up anymore.


Once I got over the shock of being publicly dissed by someone I'd just met, I have to say I admire the man's balls - wait, that TOTALLY came out wrong - I admire that he felt like he could give me shit and that I could take it. I can absolutely take it! That was hilarious, intentional or not. And R thought it was brilliant too, so Bravo, RipVan. Bravo.

You can totally hang. Although, you're gonna need to check your filter at the door. H-E double hockey sticks, dude? Nah. Say Fuck. Everybody who reads this blog can take it.

My Vast Readership is Fuckin Awesome!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More sad news.

The days of ridiculously cheap beer are gone, I fear.

R scored another case and a half of Smithwicks and cleaned out the WalMart in Eureka, but when I went back to the one closest to us, the Smithwicks bin ticket was gone. So I guess they're not going to sell it anymore, which is probably why it was so cheap, but hey - it still tastes like it's supposed to!

I have three cases sitting on my living room floor. And I'm afraid if I have one, I won't be able to stop.

That's what you call Irony, kids.

Maybe I could take the kids to Grant's Farm. They'd cut me off after two. Unless I whip out my tits. Never tried that.

Adding another dimension to my Melancholy and Infinite Sadness is my Grandmother's failing health and my constant sense of my own mortality. She's basically waiting to die. My parents are with her, which is good. And I wanted to go, too, but it's a 600 mile drive and my mom didn't want me to be on the road alone. I wanted my mom to fly my sister here from Austin and then she and I could drive together, but my sister didn't want to go. She's not a funeral person, she says.

I've been to some absolutely incredible, beautiful, inspiring funerals. What I hate is how every time, I can't stop thinking about how the family of the deceased has to go home afterwards to a house that will never feel the same again. And how life goes on the next day. The sun still rises, even though a world without our loved one doesn't seem possible.

See, I kinda don't want the world to go on without me. If it doesn't matter to the world whether I'm dead or alive, then what purpose does my existence serve? If the world could go on without me, then why am I on this planet? What's the point of Sarah?

I'm completely superfluous. Extraneous. Dispensable. Replaceable. What am I DOING here? I should probably be inspired to greatness by that thought, but instead, right now, I'm just overwhelmed and exhausted by it.

So I wanted to go to the funeral for a couple of reasons. Mainly, I wanted to be helpful to my parents. My dad will be doing the funeral, and I kinda wanted to be there for that, honestly. My dad is so awesome and brilliant in those situations, it's really quite something to see. And part of me wanted to go to make myself feel better. I didn't feel like I'd done enough in the last few months to make her transition into the next life (if you believe in that sort of thing) peaceful. But it wouldn't have mattered how much I did; I still wouldn't have felt like I'd done enough. That's just how I am.

Why do I do stuff for people? Because I want to leave an indelible impression on the people I meet. That way, I fill another seat at my funeral; add another line or two to my obituary. I'm securing my place. Reinforcing what I perceive to be my own value. Reminding the world that I'm here too. I'm pretty sure that I have a genuine phobia (I actually think the clinical definition applies) of being forgotten. Is there a word for that? Maybe that's why the Full-Spectrum Heartbreaker hurts so much. I feel forgotten. I think Full-Spectrum Giddy's going to work out (and I'm cautiously thrilled), but I don't think Heartbreaker will, sadly.

And my throat's hurting again. I swear if it's Strep for the 3rd time, Imma be hella PISSED. Last summer it was the eyeball ulcer that wouldn't die. This year it's Summer of Strep. Isn't THAT all I fuckin need.

But, just so that this post isn't a total downer - after a week of feeling like an absolute Hershey Squirt in the Underpants of Life, Tito whipped out yet another artistic masterpiece and, for a few moments, I was floating peacefully above the Apocalypse.

I apologize for the quality of the pic, but see if you can guess who's on the cross this time.

Hint: It's not Jesus.

Another hint: The squiggly lines at the bottom are snakes.

It's Indiana Jones. See the whip in his hand? Genius.

I love that kid.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

It's not you, it's me.

I feel like venting, but not really. I think what I'm feeling is, for lack of a better term, emotional bulemia.

I want to purge a whole bunch of shit and just spill it all and bring you fully up to speed on exactly what I'm dealing with, but A) it would take forfuckingever, B) I don't like when I get like this and I don't really want Penny Dark to take over this blog, and C) I'm not sure everyone would handle the information well.

I feel like you all know me. Really. And I love feeling like I can write about just about anything on here and either you'll keep reading, or you'll decide that I write about stuff that makes you uncomfortable, and if so, hopefully you'll check back from time to time and see if my life has slowed down to something more palatable for you.

One of my more sporadic readers actually told me the reason why he reads only sporadically is because he equates the feeling he got while reading my blog to the feeling one gets when one discovers one is sitting in gum. I'm still not exactly sure what the fuck that meant, but he thought he was eloquent, so whatever.

Look, here's the thing, kids -
I'm not here to blow sunshine up anybody's ass.

Right now it's 3:45 in the a.m. and, I say this with all the candor that keeps you coming back, I'm pretty fucked up mentally. I told R yesterday that I thought something inpatient might be necessary for me. I meant it more so I could focus and not be distracted by kids bickering or stressed about getting there on time, but R read it as She's Become a Danger to Herself and Others. There's some past history figuring in to his reaction, in fairness to him, but that's shit I'm not going to get into on here, like, ever - unless it becomes necessary.

He asked if I was having dark thoughts. And the truthful answer? Yes, I was. The even more truthful answer is that I have them all the time. Didn't know that, didja? I'm a Crying-On-The-Inside kind of clown because I'd rather be a clown than a Drama Queen. The clown has more friends. Who wants to hang with Drama Queen? Unless she, like, has cute clothes or something.

As for the dark thoughts, I wouldn't put myself on suicide watch or anything like that. I didn't want to die, exactly, but I desperately wanted a break from life. I wanted to clock out for a few hours, sleep it off, and clock back in eventually, refreshed and relaxed.

I wanted to get off of the merry-go-round of my life for a few minutes. Does that make sense? Kinda like telling the gym teacher you've got really bad leg cramps because you don't really see the point of running laps - I wanted to bench myself. And if I had to show Coach a bloody bone sticking out of my leg so she'd see I was totally serious, then here's my fuckin fibula, sister. I'm sittin' this one out. Fuck you. Have a nice day.

That's kinda the mentality I was dealing with. It's juvenile, sure, but there ya go. And you know what kept me from taking several Xannies and just passing out? The mental image I created of my three children wandering around a church (they're at yet another VBS this week - two, in fact) wondering why their Mommy hasn't come to pick them up. And then fast forward to the mental image of each of them relaying that same story to their own individual therapists. My kids, without their even knowing it, kept me from doing something incredibly stupid.

So R took a vacation day, without really clearing it with me or asking me if I wanted or needed him to (which bugged me - I would have told him no because it wasn't going to do me any long-term good if he rescued me every time I was having a dark day). And he and I took the kids on a Metrolink Adventure Day. It was hard for me to get into it at first, but it the kids were so great. And R was patient and cheerful. I got a blister on my toe from walking down to Laclede's Landing to see how high the river was.

But apart from that, it was a great day. Really. Got the kids home in time for their evening VBS with Anti-Stella's kids, which gave me and R some alone time. Did some talking, which was difficult, but good. Productive and healthy.

But still, I'm worried about tomorrow (or, I guess, the today that will begin in a couple of hours). He can't take off every day just to hang out with me when I'm sad. My friends have jobby-jobs. So I'll be alone with my demons, once again.

It won't surprise you to hear that I haven't taken my meds for a couple of months. Not on purpose, but periodically I get out of the habit for one reason or another, and I feel like I'm handling life pretty well, and then BOOM. I am back to the Should I Go Back on the Meds argument I have with myself every once in a while. It's probably why the Xannie hit me so hard at Chez Inlaw the other day.

When I'm looking at Raw Me, Sad Me, Ugly Me (aka Penny Dark), I can't help thinking THIS is who the meds are suppressing. Is THIS the real me? Do the meds make me somebody I wouldn't and couldn't be otherwise? Even if it makes me nicer to be around, is that the right way to go through life, as someone other than who I am naturally? You guys have seen me unmedicated. You've seen me lower than this.

I guess I don't like when I feel that self-reflection has been forced on me. I literally stood in front of the mirror yesterday thinking, My God, is my face always this puffy? How does nobody tell me when I look this puffy?? No, that's not the kind of reflection I'm talking about, really, that was just a coincidence.

Lemme talk about full-spectrum friends. I don't want it to sound like I hold back certain elements of my life from certain people, but I do kinda filter some stuff out of some of my conversations. We all do it. The Baptist Church Moms would shit themselves blind if they heard me say the words Shut Up (Remember that? That was fuckin hilarious). My parents, who only see a sliver of the PK spectrum, would shit themselves blind if they ever read this blog.

This blog, as it is, is pretty much full-spectrum. I do Nerf it down for the masses to a certain extent, but apart from politics, there's not a lot I don't write about, really. The people that read my blog know me.

I think.

My problem is, when I get away from people, I start to question who I am. When you see yourself in the way other people react to you, and no one's around, are you really there? It's truly scary to me. Truly.

Two of my full-spectrum friends told me the same thing a couple of days ago - basically, that I need to get some shit together before we can hang out again. Well, one was total full-spectrum, the closest full-spectrum friend I have had in years, apart from R. That was a heartbreaker.

The other was a newer friend, but I was blissfully caught up in the awesome possibilities and sensed enormous potential for full-spectrum access. I was really looking forward to that overwhelmingly liberating sensation that comes from such a relationship. I was giddy about that one.

The kicker, though - I was telling Heartbreaker Full-Spectrum about the loss of Giddy Full-Spectrum when Heartbreaker decided Giddy was right. THAT sucked. Dumped twice within about 30 minutes.

I believe that the people who said this to me care about me and genuinely have my best interest at heart. And I don't disagree with their reasons. So there's that. But it doesn't make it suck any less. I don't know when I'm going to get my shit together. And how am I going to know when I've got it together? Who else has enough of the full-spectrum backstory to help me see if I'm at least on the right track?

And yeah, I wish I could be the sort of person who can look back and be happy for the time I had with them, but I'm just not a "We'll always have Paris" person. No way. Is that supposed to make me feel better? So what if we'll always have Paris? What the fuck good does that do me now?

I always hated the end of Casablanca.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I'm Starting to See a Pattern.

And it's not a knitting pattern. It's a July 4th Weekend pattern.

Before I start, though, I need to mention two things that have nothing to do with the past weekend but nonetheless are contributing to the fucked up state of mind I'm in right now. One, it really requires an assload of backstory to truly understand, but suffice it to say that I've got a couple of dear relationships that are weighing on my heart pretty hard right now.

And two, after typing on this blog entry for about 40 minutes via my Wii internet connection (since the kids were watching something from Netflix on the PC), I discovered that nothing I had written got saved. Thought it happened automatically, but I guess not. Gah, I hate that. Totally par for the ubershitty course of my day.

But anyway, back to why I'm starting to hate the 4th of July.

Two years ago, Tito got lost in the dark after the fireworks and scared the shit out of me.

Last year, Aldigirl kicked over a chair and FIL tried to make me as mad at her as he was.

Oh, and may I just point out that the Aldis were conveeeeeeeeniently absent from this year's festivities? Just as I will find a way to be conveniently absent in 2009. And forevermore.

This year topped them all, friends.

I haven't told ANYONE this story yet. Not even KOFA, who so often hears my stories as they unfold or shortly thereafter.

Let's begin with Friday. R and the kids and I were invited out to my friend Maeby's parents' house. We were going to go to the local parade that Maeby and her daughter would be in, BBQ and hang out. Wasn't our neck of the woods, and her parents had never met us, so there was potential for disaster there. Plus, ya gotta know, it's not really R's thing to hang out all day and be social with total strangers, but he handled it brilliantly because he knows how much I like hanging out with Maeby. And I thanked him. He was awesome. Truly.

Anyway, we didn't stay at Maeby's for the fireworks because it was a really long day and R was kinda Peopled Out, but we had a great time. Her family was fantastic and it was a lot of fun. Beeb even got to flirt with her son a bit, which was adorable.

So after a long day at Maeby's Mom and Dad's, I had to pull it together and go out to Chez Inlaw for the big Fireworks party the next day. I couldn't seem to wake up, so I kinda tried to pump myself full of caffeine so I wouldn't be a slug when I got out there. It's all part of my Game Face.

This was Supremely Bad Idea #1.

I got really jittery and I could feel my hands shaking and my heart pounding and my jaw was starting to hurt, so what did I do? I took a trusty Xanax. On an empty stomach.

Supremely Bad Idea #2.

I could (and should) have taken half of one instead, but I needed it to start working fast and I wanted it to last long enough for me to ease into the evening. I meant well, really. But it knocked me out. BIG time.

I was the kind of tired that you only get on Thanksgiving, when you eat until you pass out watching football, you know what I'm talking about? I just wanted to curl up and watch football, only the Cards/Cubs game was on instead - even better! And Mr. Lexus was there, so I figured he'd be into it too and there'd be two votes for baseball. Awesome.

So I got up from the table - where the topic of conversation was POOP, I might add - threw away my paper plate and plastic utensils and went over to the sofa to watch the game, happy as can be. At one point, FIL asked if I was feeling okay, and, surprised that he cared, I answered, Yeah, I'm okay, I'm just really reeeeally tired.

Supremely Bad Idea #3.

Later, and I don't remember how much later, but I think it was when R and I were walking over to put our blankets down and stake out our spots for the fireworks, (which were scheduled to start in about four hours - yeah), R quietly brought it to my attention that FIL was upset with me.

Jesus Christ, what now? What'd I do?

According to FIL, when I'm a guest at his house, I NEVER offer to help clean up after a meal.

Never. EVER.

In almost twelve years, not once have I offered to help clean up.

Do I even need to point out the utter fucking absurdity of this statement? I mean, think about it - in all that time, dontcha think at one point I might have ACCIDENTALLY helped clean up, even if I really didn't mean to? COME ON! But according to FIL, I'm a big fat lazyass and R needs to lay the smackdown.

Ok, first of all, Dickless, FUCK YOU.

I kinda figured since we're all adults and perfectly capable of picking up our own paper plates and plastic utensils, there really wasn't a whole lot of cleaning up that needed to be done, that I could see. But I'm truly sorry if you expected me to remove your paper plate for you so you wouldn't have to, y'know, stop talking or anything.

Secondly, got static with me? Fuckin bring it TO ME. Don't be a pussy and talk to me only through your son.

But ya know why FIL won't ever confront me directly? Because he doesn't have the history of blind submission that he gets from his wife and children. No, I'm a loose cannon. He can neither control nor predict how I'm going to react to him. And he can't handle it. Simply put, he's afraid of me. And he should be. I'm sick of his reign of terror. I'm plotting a revolt.

That's why I'm really careful not to drink too much when I'm out there. It doesn't take much for my filter to turn itself off. And yes, I actually do have a filter, believe it or not. If I got drunk and he wanted to start shit with me, I may just say something like,

Y'know what, Bag O' Douche? YOU's the one who never lifts a goddamn finger to help clear the table. You sit there and talk and talk for a million hours all alone at the table while the rest of us clean up the kitchen. Do you even know where the fucking sink IS?? And y'know what? I would so much rather wash dishes than sit and listen to you. I would rather wrap my naked body in barbed wire and roll around in fiberglass. I'm just (hiccup!) sayin'...

But instead, after I got back to the house with R, I got down on my hands and knees, in full view of FIL, and picked up every single crumb off the floor under the table. YES I DID. Happy now, FIL? Nope, he wasn't. But I didn't care.

You do NOT want to get into a Who Can Be A Bigger Passive-Aggressive Asshole war with me. Have we ever talked about how competitive I am? Not sure if we have...

So just to go a step further, I had a private moment with MIL and I totally spilled my guts.

"MIL, I'm sorry I didn't offer to help clean up. And I hope you don't feel that I never help out..."

She clearly had no idea what I was talking about. Interesting. I went on.

"That's how it got back to me, through R, and I feel especially bad for him because it puts him in a tough spot. I know he wants to defend me as his wife, but he doesn't feel like he can. And that breaks my heart.

"Just to let you know, the reason why I'm a little out of it today is because I'm on some pretty heavy [note the emphasis]... anti-anxiety medication ... for reasons that I'm sure I don't need to explain, and it's making me a little groggy. I wasn't going to bring it up because I just really didn't want to talk about it and I don't think it's anybody's business, but I wanted to tell you because I wanted somebody to understand why I'm not my usual chipper self."

And here's what she said back. Ready? She said,

You know what, Sarah? I can't get anything right either.

And thank God I had taken the meds because they slowed down my tear production. Otherwise I would have been a fuckin basket case.

I don't know if she said anything to FIL or not (and it may well have been Supremely Bad Idea #4), I hope she did, but I kinda doubt it.

The rest of the evening, I don't even really remember because even though I knew I'd done all I could do to smooth things over in an equally passive-aggressive manner (i.e. via an otherwise uninvolved messenger), I was still kinda seething. But the kids were good, the food was good, the fireworks were good. We didn't get home until after midnight.

And I don't really care if I ever go back again.

I've also noticed that we haven't been invited to Aunt Huggy or Aunt Drama's yet this summer. I'm going to look at it this way - I'm sure they want to invite me because, let's face it, I'm kickass. You WANT me at your party.

But, if they invite us, then they'd kinda have to invite MIL and FIL and The Aldis, and well, they suck. So they'll give up a shot at a kickass party just to prevent royal suckage.

Sigh. I hate when my coolness jacks up my social life. It's a curse.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Penny's Pride. And Joy.

I don't know why I didn't write about it last time while I was writing about PSR because it would have given Beeb's teacher's comments on her report card ("always had thoughtful comments to contribute to the class discussions") some perspective.

I left this comment on KOFA's blog yesterday, after he'd written about GLBT rights in reaction so something his mom had written on her own blog (and please don't go hatin' on his mom, she's sweet):

Beebie and I have been talking about gay marriage recently. I love openly discussing her opinions on different topics. She's quite adept at defending her beliefs! I have to say it was one of my prouder moments as a parent when she came home from PSR (Parish School of Religion, required by the Catholic church) informing me that they had discussed some pretty heavy topics that day, including homosexuality.

She said that her teacher told them that homosexuality is a sin, and Beeb shared her own opinion with the class, even though it differed greatly from what she was being taught. She told the class that we can't help who we love. That's how I've always explained it to my kids. It's simple, and it makes sense to them. Makes sense to me, too.

It's important to keep in mind that extending the same rights that you have to someone else doesn't diminish your own rights. I liked how you said that.

Maybe I'll take you to Pridefest next year with Beebie and me. I have a Lilith Fair shirt you can borrow.

I was proud of Beebie not even necessarily because of what she was defending, but because she had the ballz to tell a teacher and the class, "Hey, y'know, I don't know if I agree with that. I don't think that's right..." when it might not have been popular or socially acceptable to do so.

I get a lot of shit wrong, I admit. I don't give myself a perfect score as a parent. I write about most if not all of the mistakes I've made. Some of them are, in my opinion, relatively minor - like the tv shows, movies and music I expose them to. Or maybe we just haven't yet seen whatever long-term damage it's going to do, I'll concede that. Maybe she'll be a potty-mouthed, crack-smoking juvenile deliquent. And if she is, whatever. I'll handle it. At least we'll like the same music.

But I want, above all else, for my children to be independent thinkers. I want them to feel like the world welcomes their questions and opinions, and that their parents encourage them to defy the mainstream - when they want to. R and I try to, when they ask questions, give them factual and age-appropriate information to the best of our knowledge, as unbiased as possible. And when they ask what I personally believe, I explain my own opinion as well as the reasons why someone might believe something different, so that they can see more than one side to the issue and make up their own minds.

I had been a little vocal about my disdain for the requirement of PSR and the outrageous cost, and some of my other issues with the Catholic church in general (and don't even get me started on Patron Saints), and I feared that some of it had rubbed off on the kids, but they went to PSR and I encouraged them to be enthusiastic and openminded and respectful of their teachers. And they enjoyed it, and that's great. I'm glad they weren't subversive assholes or anything.

So I was proud. So proud, in fact, I went to Pride! I took about 8 billion pictures on my phone. Here are some of my favorites.

It says VAGINA on that girl's black panties.

I thought this guy was just adorable.

And what's sexier than a Speedo? I mean, really?

I love drag queens. Especially when they're prettier than me.

Unlike this one.

Nothing really to say here.

The funny part was that it actually WAS raining men.

The Arch Rival Roller Girls!!!

Now this, I found a bit stereotypical.

I went with my Roller Derby pal Mysty. I told Beeb where I'd been, when I got home. Remember when I took you to Indigo Girls, Beebie? It was kinda like that, only with a parade and a huge park full of people.

Beeb asked me if Mysty and I "acted like a couple". It was cool that she asked. We're not, and we didn't, if you were wondering the same thing.

Ok, enough Pride. On to JOY!

Pie had been telling me that the waistbands on his panties were bothering his skin. His big belly is hard to fit, and he wears his pants and panties down low under his belly, like a little old man. Even when he was little if we'd pull his pants up to where his natural waist would be, he's pull them back down. When he was a baby we used to put suspenders on him. It's horrible to say, but it really was funny.

Anyway, we needed to get Pie some bigger panties. Then of course, Beeb piped in that she wanted new panties too. And Tito didn't want to be left out, so he got Batman Underoos.

And recently I've had a craving for Skittles.

So we were going to go to Target. Then I remembered that I've also had a craving for beer, and Target doesn't sell beer, so R and I drove a little farther to WalMart.

Some days, kids, the planets align and the heavens open up and God and His angels smile down on us. Today, however, we stirred the compassionate soul of St. Arnold, the Patron Saint of Beer .

I would have been satisfied with the Bud Select. But hey, look - they have Smithwicks! At WalMart! No shit! Let's get some!
Here's the tag.

It said a 6-pack of Smithwicks Ale was $1.14. Cheaper than a 20-ounce Diet Coke, for fuck's sake. That couldn't be right, could it? No way!

R was all set to go to the mat with whatever cashier tried to give us a hard time. He was TOTALLY, uncharacteristically, fired up. Nobody was going to deny my man his score. So we scanned it. And sure enough, it SCANNED at $1.14. R was a little disappointed that he didn't get to fight somebody.

We completely cleaned them out. We got five 6-packs of Smitty for less than the price of one 6-pack. UNBEFUCKINLIEVABLE!
I almost felt guilty about it. Almost.

So R and I went into Bonnie and Clyde mode and drove to three more WalMarts. We didn't get home until almost 11pm. We came up empty, and the gas we used probably negated what we saved on the beer, but it was an adventure!

And besides, Bonnie and Clyde mode is arousing...
Partners in Crime.